An update from HBC…
Construction has begun on a new high-speed fiber broadband network in Hastings, MN that will provide residents and businesses with access to a next generation, all fiber-optic network.
Winona, MN based Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC) is building the high-speed fiber network that upon completion, will be capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 Gigabits. The company expects to be delivering its high-speed Internet and Phone services to approximately 1,500 homes on the city’s southwestern edge by the end of this year.
Hastings is the latest community that will receive access to HBC’s fiber network. The company recently completed Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP) projects in the cities of Chatfield and Cannon Falls, in addition to several smaller rural communities.
HBC’s relationship with Dakota County and Dakota Electric made expansion into the Hastings community a logical move.
“As a company, we have been working with those two entities for the past several years, running fiber to substations and for other applications,” said HBC president Dan Pecarina. “With the necessary infrastructure already in place, our decision to grow here was much easier to make.”
Jim Kronebusch, HBC VP of Technology said HBC will utilizing XGS-PON technology as part of this project. This new technology will allow delivery of the fastest broadband speeds in the area, up to 10 Gigabits.
“The best part about deploying fiber optic networks is light has far less limitations than any other medium, such as copper cable,” said Kronebusch. “We can deploy 10 Gigabit speeds for upload and download now, however the future is capable of hundreds of Gigabits in both directions with simple updates to the electronics.”
Leading-edge technology will also be deployed in customer homes allowing them to take full advantage of ultra-fast Internet speeds and management of their home WiFi network.
“The wireless routers that we deploy in customer’s homes are WiFi 6 capable, extremely powerful, highly reliable, and exceptionally versatile,” according to Kronebusch. “If needed, our Mesh WiFi extenders will fully cover any size and style of home. Our HBC GigaHome app puts customers in control of their home network, however if assistance is needed, HBC’s Wizards Technical Support group can remotely assist with any questions without the need to enter your home. We offer support in ways the Big Box store devices cannot.”
Many may wonder why expand into a city with an existing service provider when rural broadband access is needed?
Pecarina explains, “There are times that we need to build networks in higher density communities in order to help fund the extremely high cost of rural broadband expansion. HBC currently delivers services to customers in 30 rural communities in southeastern and central Minnesota, with average populations of about 1,500 people. HBC has completed several rural expansion projects over the last several years. Building the network in Hastings with bigger city density, will help us reinvest more funding into rural connectivity. This enables us to bring broadband services to more households allowing for remote learning and working,” he said. “We also have an extensive wireless broadband network that is providing a connection for families across southeastern and into central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.”
With an emphasis on local service, HBC is currently remodeling an office location in the Hastings Marketplace with a planned opening date of July 1st. In addition to two customer care representatives, the office will also staff an in-house HBC Wizards Technical Support technician as well as local service technicians.
“When our customers call us with an issue or question, they will be not be talking with someone in a call center halfway across the world, they will be speaking with someone who is working in their community or in one of our seven other Southeast Minnesota offices,” Pecarina said.
HBC has completed several broadband projects over the past year in Dakota County including F-T-T-P networks to an area along Highway 46, and the homes and businesses in Nininger Township and Miesville.